Alina Fiszgrund

Alina Fiszgrund
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  • Photo taken in:
    Vienna
    Year when photo was taken:
    19431945
    Country name at time of photo:
    Germany, 1870-1945
    Country name today:
    Austria
This is my picture from Vienna, I think. It was taken between 1943 and 1945. I left for Vienna during the Germans' great march eastwards, in Russia. They stood at Stalingrad's gates and still believed they'd win the war. I remember the banners at railway stations: 'Räder müssen rollen für den Sieg' [German for 'Wheels must roll for victory']. You saw that everywhere, in Austria too. In Vienna, Jews lived in the 2nd Bezirk [German for district]. A place where I was only for a short time and could encounter them. During that period, Jews weren't allowed to go out after 10am. The 2nd Bezirk was the only area where they were allowed in public. They weren't allowed to walk the sidewalks, had to walk in the middle of the street. And they had to wear the star. But at least you could survive somehow there. Many people helped me in Austria. I'll actually say the Vienna times were good times. The only thing is I felt very alone, even though I had friends there too. There was this artist, a singer, Milica Kordius. It was a stage name, her real name was different. She performed mainly in England, also in America, because she loved to sing in English. She lived in Vienna, but she was Serbian, from Sarajevo, I think. I met her during the war, and received a lot of good from her. She even helped me financially from time to time. I was close friends with her until her death. She was a pretty and wise woman. A woman of great heart. Besides that, sometimes someone felt sympathy for me, and, for instance, gave me some money. There was a lady, for instance, who gave me a certain sum of money so that, if I needed something, I wouldn't have to urgently look for a job. Getting a job wasn't a problem, but not all jobs were safe. I lived on Burggasse, near the Volkstheater, with Mrs. Hanzie Leinauer. She was a violin player, a music teacher. It was a very liberal and interesting family. My host had a sister who married a Jew. That sister lived with her kid in Vienna. The boy was seven or eight years old, and under the law of the time, he wasn't allowed to go to school. He was afraid to go out on his own. And his father was in hiding in a small town in the south of the country. His wife sometimes went there, though that wasn't simple.

Interview details

Interviewee: Alina Fiszgrund
Interviewer:
Magdalena Bizon
Month of interview:
August
Year of interview:
2005
Krakow, Poland

KEY PERSON

Alina Fiszgrund
Year of birth:
1921
City of birth:
Ruda Pabianicka
Country name at time of birth:
Poland
Occupation
after WW II:
Jewish activist
Family names
  • Previous family name: 
    Birnbaum
    Year of changing: 
    1942
    Reason for changing: 
    Hiding Jewish identity/nationality
  • Previous family name: 
    Gruszczynska
    Reason for changing: 
    Marriage
    Decade of changing: 
    1940s
  • Previous family name: 
    Golebiowska
    Reason for changing: 
    Remarriage
    Decade of changing: 
    1940s

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